The HPS-2 Museum of Contemporary Art is located on Balchug Island in the center of Moscow. It is part of the art space that was formed on the territory of the former Red October factory, as well as on the opposite bank of the river, in the Museon Park and the New Tretyakov Gallery. The HPS-2 Gallery was opened in 2021 and became a center of attraction for all fans of contemporary art.
HPS-2 is called in different ways: a museum, a gallery, as well as a center for contemporary art. It is impossible to call it a museum in the usual sense, since HPS-2 does not aim to collect some collection of works in order to exhibit it in the halls. The main goal of HPS-2 is the formation of an art space and a creative atmosphere that will allow contemporary artists to create new masterpieces. Exhibitions are held at HPS-2, films are shot, and master classes are held. The HPS-2 Museum is the main venue of the V-A-C Contemporary Art Support Foundation, founded by Leonid Mikhelson.
The HPS-2 building was built in 1905-1907 to power the contact network of electric trams. They appeared in 1899 and replaced horse-drawn trams. However, the electrification of the city center was required for the development of routes. In Soviet times, the building began to perform the functions of a City Power Station and for the first time received the name HPS. This abbreviation is more often called hydroelectric power stations, but in Moscow the word "HPS-2" was called an electric station.
In 1905, the project of the building was prepared by architect Vasily Bashkirov. Despite the industrial purpose of HPS-2, he made a project in the neo-Russian style with a beautiful decor. Most of the space is occupied by the main engine room with huge windows. Next to it is a boiler room, which is visually similar to an Italian basilica. 4 stone chimneys towered over the building.
By the end of the 20th century, the HPS-2 building had fallen into complete disrepair, it was closed due to the high cost of electricity generated. Since 2014, the Mikhelson Foundation has begun the reconstruction of HPS-2 to create an art space. The Italian architect Renzo Piano, who built the Georges Pompidou Center for Art and Culture in Paris, was invited to implement the project.
The architect Piano has completely preserved the original design of the HPS-2 building. Wherever possible, panoramic glazing has been made, which has added light to all rooms. The roof of HPS-2 museum was made of aluminum structures also with panoramic glazing. All the halls where modern works of art are exhibited are gigantic in size. This is all very impressive, so the opening of HPS-2 in 2021 became the cultural event of the year in Moscow.
A beautiful art space has also been created around HPS-2 Museum. A beautiful embankment has been made on the Moskva River, which cascades down to the water. There is a 14-meter sculpture composition "Big clay No. 4". It is made in the form of pieces of clay that the sculptor kneaded. A birch grove has been planted on the side of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The idea of the HPS-2 museums art space is that visitors become a part of it. They can sign up and take part in the events held here. On the ground floor there is a film studio with professional equipment and dressing rooms. Some TV shows are constantly being filmed here. HPS-2 has studios of artists, sculptors, designers, where they can work with all kinds of materials: clay, metal, wood, etc. Creative people meet here, communicate, exchange experiences and ideas